With all the stress that goes into wedding planning, who can’t relate to wanting to throw all planning out the window and run off for a romantic elopement? Chloe — an international fashion designer — and her new husband James did just that, flying to New York City from their home in Bali for city hall nuptials with only their chauffeur and their photographer, Alison Conklin, as their witnesses. Oh, and that amazing short wedding dress? Designed by the bride herself, of course!
From the photographer, Alison Conklin: Staying at The Crosby Street Hotel in Soho, marrying in the New York City Hall, and dining privately with one another at the renowned 3 michelin star ‘Daniel’ on the Upper East side was truly their own dream wedding. Their elopement in New York City captured what they are all about, who they are, and what their priorities are – each other. Now all they have to look forward to is a 6 week honeymoon in London, Copenhagen, Venice, Florence and Rome before returning home to face the music… but for them New York will always be where it all happened.
From the bride, Chloe: James (Australian) and I (Danish) met 7 years ago in Switzerland. Only four days after meeting we moved in together in a beautiful part of the country called Neuchatel on the French border. One of the first travel dreams we ever shared was exploring New York City together. Seven years later and almost as many residing continents, we found ourselves living in Bali where James had established his hospitality businesses. The Island is a magical part of the world and this is where James decided to drop down on one knee at the amazing Bulgari Resort, Bali.
Both of our families are spread out throughout the world; Copenhagen, London, Jakarta, Sydney and Melbourne, and we began the arduous task of planning a big wedding in James’ home town of Sydney… with the Sydney Opera House as the intended backdrop. As the plans became larger and the tasks more onerous, the fun was beginning to diminish for both us. Then during an afternoon of planning, and after a couple of quiet martinis, I cautiously (and somewhat jokingly) suggested an elopement to New York. With a smile from ear to ear James said “absolutely” and before his glass hit the table we began to plan our true dream wedding. All we wanted was to spend the day together, eating, drinking and laughing. We felt from the bottom of their hearts that we had to bring the focus back on us, regardless of what anybody else wanted and to remember what we would want first and foremost from our day and that was to celebrate our love for each other, our love for traveling, and enjoying every moment of our day with each other.
With a last minute booking of flights, cities, and amazing hotels we left for New York both totally content and overwhelmed with excitement. However, some things could not be forgotten. Both of us are particular in our own dress and style, James had his suit privately tailored while I collaborated with a local designer to design my dress, coat, and veil – with neither of us discussing the details with each other until we helped each other to get dressed just hours before the nuptials. As Lazarus Douvos prepared my hair in our amazing one-bedroom suite at the Crosby Street Hotel, Krug Champagne and letters from friends and family began to arrive, as did the last minute bouquet and boutonniere designed by the FLORA NY in Tribeca, which showcased an array of blooms representing the New York season and exotic flowers. The day earlier James had surprised me with a white Louis Vuitton handbag, personalized with my new initials, which accompanied me on the day and I surprised him with the silver Tiffany cufflinks that he wore. Both totally unplanned. I doubt that we would have felt that same kind of confidence and deep trust in each other, had we not been bound so intimately by something so grand and so totally personal. In keeping with our spontaneous and no rules outlook we requested that Alison Conklin, the person responsible for the incredible photographs on the day, be our legal witness at the New York City Hall. So the three of us, along with our remaining wedding party, Ukranian chauffeur, Walter, headed for the financial district to get married.
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